January 12, 2016 Last Updated 9:58 pm

ALM acquires Legal Week, from Incisive Media

The buyer is backed by the private equity company Wasserstein & Co., while the seller is currently majority owned by the private equity company Alchemy Partners

The UK law journal Legal Week has been acquired by Wasserstein & Co. owned ALM (formerly known as American Lawyer Media). Legal Week’s owner, Incisive Media, was once owned by Wasserstein – so, in a way, Legal Week is returning to the fold. Though as this is more private equity musical chairs, we will see how long this lasts.

LW-apps-380Try and follow this history (warning, it might make your head swim): ALM was founded by Steven Brill in 1979 with the launch of The American Lawyer. Brill sold ALM to Time Warner in 1997, which wanted the CourtTV franchise. A year later, Wasserstein bought the legal publications from Time Warner. A decade later, Incisive Media acquired ALM, but then had to sell it off to the lenders and another PE Firm. Then Wasserstein & Co. purchased ALM once again in 2014.

The seller, Incisive Media, owns such B2B titles as Computing, Accountancy Age and Risk Magazine. The publisher’s current majority shareholder is the private equity company Alchemy Partners, which early last year helped the company trim its debt from £110 million to £25 million. This deal likely helps lower the publisher’s debt load still further.

“This acquisition is an important next step as we expand our offerings into key international markets,” said Bill Carter, CEO of ALM. “Legal Week has a strong audience base in Europe and Asia, and an impressive collection of industry events. It has also successfully transitioned to a business model primarily focused on digital content and services. These attributes make Legal Week an ideal addition to our platform.”

Since Wasserstein reacquired ALM in the summer of 2014, the company has purchased Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory in December 2014, Summit Professional Networks in January 2015, and China Law & Practice in August 2015.

  • David Brown 9 months ago

    Very close. The present ALM was an amalgam of Brill’s Co. which Wasserstein bought for under $100 million and The New York Law Journal Co. for which Wasserstein paid somewhere north of $300 million (which included the New York Law Journal, a book business and the National Law Journal. Both purchased together by Wasserstein in 1998. Incisive acquired ALM for about $630 million and then Wasserstein re-purchased the same co. 6 or so years later for about $417.